The black list

India fares the worst in a survey of Asia's polluted countries

Published: Saturday 30 June 2001

China, India, Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines are the most polluted countries in Asia, while Singapore, Malaysia and Japan are the cleanest, indicates a recent survey. The Hong-Kong-based Political and Economic Risk Consultancy Limited (PERC) conducted the survey.

In the survey, emigrants living in 12 Asian countries and territories rated the quality of air and water, noise as well as traffic. Ratings for each category were averaged into an overall grading scale from zero to 10, where zero was the best and 10 the worst. India turned out to be the worst overall with a score of 8.31, followed by China with 8.03, Vietnam with 7.63, the Philippines with 7.55, Indonesia with 7.33 and Hong Kong with 7.28. Safe drinking water is not available to a fifth of Indian urban households, a mere 23 per cent have toilets and only 48 per cent have other sanitation facilities. Overall averages of a few others were as follows: Thailand 7.02, South Korea 6.25 and Taiwan 5.84.

Singapore fared the best in preserving water resources with a score of 3.38, beating Japan with 3.63 and Malaysia with 4.50. Vietnam has the worst water quality scoring 9.0. It was followed by India and China with scores of 8.63 and 8.25, respectively.

The Philippines accounted for the poorest air quality with a grade of 8.60. Hong Kong was next with 8.47, China with 8.38 and India with 8.13. China was the worst in terms of noise pollution with a score of 8.13, followed by India and Vietnam both having a score of 8.00 and Hong Kong at 7.77. "It is Asia's poorer and more populous countries which scored badly for virtually all aspects of the environment," officials of perc said, adding that unless the governments change their policies, environmental problems will intensify.

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